It is necessary for most foreign nationals to have a visa for entry into Zambia and Malawi. Visas can be purchased in advance of travel from any Zambian Missions Abroad (or Malawian embassy for Malawi visas), however it is possible for some foreign passport holders to purchase visas at the point of entry to Zambia or Malawi. We recommend this course of action for those nationals able to purchase a visa on entry.
For updated information we advise you to check one of the following websites:
- The Zambian Department of Immigration - Visit Site
- The Zambian High Commission, London - Visit Site
- The Malawian Foreign Affairs Department - Visit Site
Visa Fees as at January 2012
Most foreign nationals can purchase on entry but we urge you to check if you are unsure as some nationalities need to apply for and be granted their visa before travel. NCS cannot accept responsibility for any disruptions caused by visa issues.
For most European, UK and US passport holders into Zambia.
- Single entry - US$50.00
- Double entry - US$80.00
- Multiple entry - US$160.00
The Zambian Government requires all visitors’ passports be valid for at least six months beyond the intended departure date from Zambia.
Travellers obtaining a visa on arrival are recommended to check their passports after it has been stamped by the immigration officer to ensure that the correct number of days’ stay have been authorized to cover your whole stay in Zambia.
We strongly advise that you take out comprehensive travel insurance before you depart for Zambia. Medical insurance with provision for air evacuation and repatriation is also strongly advised. NCS is insured to evacuate medical emergencies but clients’ own insurers will be invoiced for this.
Whilst Norman Carr Safaris carries public and passenger liability for all guests staying in our camps and travelling in our vehicles we cannot be held responsible for loss or damage to any personal possessions whilst guests are in our care. Potentially dangerous wildlife wanders freely through our camps and guests are urged to take note of all safety advice and read the safety information in all camps.
The currency in Zambia is the Kwacha. Cash US Dollars are not accepted for domestic transactions (i.e. purchases made in Zambia). You will need a small amount of ZMK to pay for flight departure taxes. There are banks and Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) in Livingstone, Mfuwe and in Lusaka Airports. You cannot change USD in a bank in Zambia, unless you are an account holder; however there are some bureau de change facilities in Lusaka Airport.
If you are changing USD be sure to bring notes of varying denominations since change is often a problem in Africa and all notes must have "large heads" - the old series notes with small heads are no longer accepted anywhere in Zambia.
Credit cards are accepted in many places but it is safer not to rely on any single card to get you through Africa. Authorisation usually needs to be obtained for larger purchases and this is sometimes difficult to obtain. Most credit card transactions will also attract a surcharge of around 5% of the total invoice amount. Visa is the easiest card to use in Zambia, followed by MasterCard and then American Express. At Norman Carr Safaris we are only able to process Visa and MasterCards (we charge a 2.5% surcharge for these transactions), but due to unreliable telephone lines and difficulties in obtaining authorisation, it can be a very lengthy process to complete a transaction and it is definitely best to settle any outstanding bills well in advance of your intended departure time.
When staying in a hotel or camp or when eating in a restaurant in Zambia, it is a statutory requirement for a 10% service charge to be added to your bill (or, more usually, incorporated within it). This is passed onto the staff and is designed to replace the optional gratuity.
Having said this, it is customary to tip staff a small amount if you feel that service has been up to scratch. In a restaurant this would usually not exceed 10%.
In the camps we prefer guests not to tip staff during the course of their stay but rather, if you choose, to leave a tip at the end of the stay in each camp; there will usually be a communal tip box at the bar or at reception. This will then be divided amongst all the staff, both those you have seen and those you have not. Although the domestic currency is the Zambian Kwacha, it is acceptable to tip in USD and as a guideline we advise something in the region of $5 - $10 per guest per day but of course this is entirely discretionary. The safari guides and scouts are not included in this tip sharing system so if you feel you have been well taken care of then you can tip your guide and/or scout separately, either in person or through the camp manager at the end of your stay.
Cancellation and Curtailment
If for any reason you cancel a trip close to departure date, you could lose the entire cost of your trip. Should you have to leave before your holiday is finished, we cannot refund you the cost of the portion of the package you do not complete. In the eventuality of this happening, insurance may cover you, depending on the reason for cancellation and curtailment.